Thursday, March 20, 2014

Emily Dickinson’s Ars Poetica

Shall I take thee, the Poet said
To the propounded word?
Be stationed with the Candidates
Till I have finer tried -

The Poet searched Philology
And was about to ring
For the suspended Candidate
There came unsummoned in -
That portion of the Vision
The Word applied to fill
Not unto nomination
The Cherubim reveal -

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The adherents of the central are mystics to begin with. - Wallace Stevens

The poet is constantly concerned with two theories. One relates to the imagination as a power within him not so much to destroy reality at will as to put it to his own uses. He comes to feel that his imagination is not wholly his own but that it may be part of a much larger, much more potent imagination, which is his affair to try to get at. For this reason, he pushes on and lives, or tries to live, as Paul Valéry did, on the verge of consciousness. This often results in poetry that is imagination as a power within him to have such insights into reality as will make it possible for him to be sufficient as a poet in the very center of consciousness. - Wallace Stevens

Thursday, March 6, 2014

“The Reluntant Kabbalist’s Sonnet” by Peter Cole

It is known that “desire” is, numerologically, . . .“the essence of speech.”
—Avraham Abulafia,“The Treasures of the Hidden Eden”

It’s hard to explain   What was inside came
through what had been between, although it seems
that what had been within remained the same
Is that so hard to explain     It took some time
which was, in passing, made distinctly strange
As though the world without had been rearranged,
forcing us to change: what was beyond
suddenly lying within, and what had lain
deep inside—now … apparently gone
Words are seeds, like tastes on another’s tongue
Which doesn’t explain—how what’s inside comes
through what is always in between, that seam
of being    For what’s within, within remains,
as though it had slipped    across the lips of a dream